Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Target Love

I went to TARGET!

But in true Tyrant fashion, all did not go as planned.

The night before our grand trip was scheduled, we discovered that our attic apartment is home to not one, not two, but dozens and dozens of bats. They had just moved in and were really REALLY happy to be there. Happy enough to poop all over and have lots of babies who scratched and squeaked and stunk of guano all day.  Oh joy. (We sealed up the roof and Tyrant Daddy stayed up until 5:30 in the morning catching the stragglers that clawed their way out of the ceiling while I sheltered our Tiny Tyrants. *shudder*)

So after a uber-strong pot of coffee, a long morning nap and a late start, we were on our way.  The girls were good on the 45 minute drive to the nearest thriving metropolis, and we spotted a McDonald's (don't judge) and decided to stop. We were letting Thing 1 burn off some steam in the play area when I saw it - The Poop Face. At this point she was in the last clean diaper we had with us.

"Hold it! Don't poop!" I cried, scooping her up and swooping through bemused McDonald's customers to the restroom.  Once we were in a stall I quickly peeled off her shorts and diaper. Only to realize, too late, that the diaper was full of an amazing amount of liquid feces, which were now slowly leaking over the sides and onto the bathroom floor. 

Thing 1 blinked at me and said solemnly, "I'm all done Momma. I all done pooping."

I sighed. "Yes. I can see that."

I cleaned her, placed her in a corner of the stall, and proceeded to wipe poo off the floor with industrial grade cardboardesque toilet paper while trying not to vomit up my recently consumed fast food lunch. Mostly because I would just have to clean the floor again.
Since we were out of diapers, Thing 1 got to go starkers under her shorts on the quick trip across town to Target while I chanted, "Don't Pee! You aren't wearing a diaper! DO NOT PEE!" at every stoplight.

The rest of the trip went like this:
Into store.
Buy diapers.
Put diaper on butt.
Return to shopping. 
Tyrant Daddy, "Did you bring the list?"
Me, "What list?"
Tyrant Daddy, "Didn't we need anything besides diapers?"
Me, "Ummmmm....probably?
Wander around in an exhausted daze picking up and putting down random objects.
Realize that Thing 1 is falling asleep in the cart.
Head back to the checkout. 
Can't find our credit card. 
Tyrant Daddy goes looking for the card. 
I immediately find the card after he leaves. 
Tyrant Daddy takes the bags to the car while I change girls.
I realize that I am holding an infant and have no where to put her while I check my toddler's diaper. 
I finally precariously balance both of them on the Koala changing station.  Totally safe. No one dies.
Tyrant Daddy considerately pulls up to the front of the store. 
I don't realize this and spend 15 minutes wandering around the parking lot with two babies wondering if I am losing my mind.
We find the car.
I feed Thing 2.
Thing 1 nodded off.
Thing 2 starts screaming.
I spend the next 45 minutes wedged between the carseats keeping Thing 2 quiet so her sister can sleep.

I learned a few things from this day:

Don't eat at McDonalds. 
Always bring extra diapers. 
Never drop a diaper until you have checked the contents.

I still love Target.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

ABBA for the Win

Tonight, after an early dinner, I realized I needed to kill 2 hours before bedtime with a restless infant whose only goal in life is to walk, and a sleepless toddler whose only goal in life is to destroy EVERYTHING.  Crap.
Thing 1, besides being culture-shocked (she occasionally stops and stares at me with haunted eyes and says things like "Remember da OLD house, Momma?  Remember our ALLEY? You walked with me in it with the CARS. Remember dat?" causing me to be wracked with guilt and homesickness)  has also started skipping her nap.  On top of that, the great mosquito hatching has begun here in Minnesota, making playing outside a nightmare and causing Thing 2's face to swell up with a dozen red bumps. Which means we have been hiding in our new attic apartment surrounded by boxes slowly going bat-shit-crazy.
In desperation I dodged tiny mosquito bombs, piled the girls into the car, and drove the 6 miles to the nearest park and playground.  We made the rounds of swings and slides, played with our new best friends of the hour, and started feeling a little better.
The playground is across the street from the local dive (naturally), in this case called The Log Cabin Bar (classy, classy joint), which was blaring country and classic rock hits so that the three drunks on the patio could dance. Entertaining and harmless background noise.  
Until ABBA came on. (See ABBA, ABBA Everywhere post for reference)
Thing 1 froze.  
A huge smile spread across her face.
She gave an ecstatic shout from across the playground,
"MOMMA! Dat's da Momma Mia SONG!!!" 
She threw herself off of the teeter totter, grabbed my hand, and said rapturously, "DANCE with me, Momma! Let's DANCE!!"
So we rocked out to Dancing Queen in the middle of the play ground, Thing 2 cackling gleefully in her Bjorn, Thing 1 busting out her best disco moves, with the setting sun casting long shadows through the grove of century old pine trees, and suddenly I knew that no matter where we were or what crap we were wading through, everything was was going to be OK.  Because we are always, ALWAYS going to rock out to ABBA, whenever and wherever it's playing.  And that makes us special.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Two year olds have a hard time processing major life changes.
Instead of saying, "Hey, this is weird that you have totally upset everything that I am familiar with and taken me away from the only home I can remember. I am having a hard time adjusting and am feeling sad and anxious," they start scratching anything with skin that gets within their reach.
As a result, there has been a lot of "NO!" going on the last few days.
Thing 1 attempts to lift Old Kitty by the tail while Old Kitty is trying to eat dinner - "NO!"
Thing 1 tips over her sister who is just starting to pull herself up on everything - "NO!"
Thing 1 drinks large gulp of juice, gargles it, grins at me, and let's it dribble all over her shirt - "NO!"
Thing 1 goes in to kiss Tyrant Daddy and instead head butts him on the bridge of his nose - "NO!"
Thing 1 locks herself in the bathroom - "NO!"
Thing 1 drinks a half a cup of coffee - "NO!"
This much negative enforcement (lots of talking down, talking up, bribing, positive reinforcement, and occasional time out included) takes a toll on my brain. I don't want to once again explain to my child that hitting is wrong and we need to be gentle. I want her to remember when I explained it twenty minutes ago.

This morning she looked at me after a very firm "NO!" for deliberately dumping a bag of cheerios on the floor and said,
 "Ooooooh, I make Mama SAD. My fault. It's MY FAULT again!"in completely faked remorseful tones.
Which made me laugh out loud and completely defeated the power of my "NO!"

Then, this afternoon, we had a truly grueling series of "NO!"s:
"Momma! Want a chip!"
"Momma! Want to ride da cow!"
"Momma! NEED a popsicle!! I NEED IT!"
"Momma! I push MIA! It's FUNNY! It IS!"

As we were washing our hands after a diaper change, she looked at me and said,
"Momma! Want to brush my teeth!"
And I naturally replied,
"Momma, PLEASE. My teeth are FUZZY. Please brusha' my teeth?"
Did I just tell my child not to practice good dental hygiene? Hmmm....
"Ok. You can brush your teeth.  THIS time."
Nice save.

Sometimes, even in the midst of a tidal wave of negativity, there may just be a good idea. It's important not to get overwhelmed so that I don't automatically say "NO!" and miss out.
After all, maybe tomorrow she will want to pee on the toilet, eat all her healthy food, go down for a nap without complaint, clean the windows, and take a bath on her own.
In which case, I can switch it up with a resounding,

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Green Acres

Well, I have officially been living in the country for a week.
For those of you who don't know, I was born in the country. In fact, I was born about 20 feet from where I am currently sitting.  I lived here for 18 years being angsty and stir crazy and loving/hating it.
Then I became an adult, travelled, went to college, and moved to where people do things, a place called "the cities".
It was a magical land, and I loved it.
And then I had babies, and our neighborhood had drive by shootings, and we had layoffs and dead end jobs and too much debt and too little time and money.
So we said, fuck it, lets get outta dodge.
The first place we thought to go was the farm.
Where my parents still live.
In a giant ancient farmhouse with it's fairly new addition that has been new for about a decade now and is still not done.
They are giving us the attic to rennovate/turn into a respectable apartment.
We are working on that.
And by working on, I mean I still haven't found where all my pajamas are hiding in the grand mountainous ranges that are my material possessions stacked all over the room.
The official story is that we moved up here for health and to help start a sustainable goods company.
It's a good story. It's even true. And it sounds so much better than, "I burnt out after having 2 kids and working full time and trying to keep up with the Joneses and attempting to be an artist in a competitive market, so instead I had a nervous break down and am now living in my mother's attic with my 2 Tiny Tyrants and my Latin Lover (Tyrant Daddy is Puerto Rican.  From New York. He must love me.)
Which is also true.  And probably a more provocative story. Oooooo, drama!
So far parenting in the country has consisted of explaining why Old Kitty (Yup, that's his name. I can't remember what we tried to name him when we got him 18 years ago. I think it might have been "Mittens"...) is often seen with small furry rodents dangling out of his mouth. Sometimes he sneaks them inside and presents them to us at dinner. "What a Good Kitty!" says Grandma.
Facts of life kid, facts of life.
We also had a talk about how dirty baby chicken hay is not to be thrown into the air and danced under in some sort of pagan ritual. Even if the farm dog brings it to you in his mouth like a nice little present. Nope, poopy hay is just not appropriate confetti. Even in the country.
Also, we need to check babies hair every night for wood ticks. Wood ticks can bite you and make you sick.
Ah, quaint and rustic. The simple life.
However, there has been no drive by shootings, both babies have been running free on acres of land with hardly a street sign in sight, usually naked, since that is how we roll, and I am finally starting to get over my daily Target-stop withdrawals.
( One vast improvement from my childhood: wireless internet. Thank the gods. )